Buying a slightly used car can already save you money in comparison to the brand new model. You’ll save significantly in sticker price and depreciation costs, potentially with very few miles on the clock. Yet to make sure you’re getting the best deal on a used car, you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind.
Do your Research
Whether you’re looking at new or used cars, the best first step is to research your options. You’ll want to decide which make, model, and year of car would work the best for your needs. If you’re looking for a family car, you may have different features in mind than you would if you were searching for a commuter car. In addition to shopping around for cars, you should also start looking at financing options. Purchasing a used car in cash is the ideal situation, but you can also pre-qualify for a loan from your bank or credit union before you start shopping. Look for the rates and terms that will be most beneficial, as there are many lending products on the market.
Shop Around for Insurance Quotes
Car insurance is another major expense to consider. Insurance quotes can vary quite drastically between providers, which is why you should never accept the first quote you receive. There are plenty of price comparison websites to help you look at your options in a logical format, such as TheZebra.com,confused.com or moneysupermarket.com. Look at several of these to get a feel for what your options are.
Read the Vehicle History Report
Once you have a specific range of cars in mind, you can then start looking at them individually. If a particular car strikes your fancy and fits your budget, be sure to look at its vehicle history. You can ask for the Vehicle Identification Number and then run it through www.vehiclehistory.gov or similar sites. There are numerous databases out there that will give you a full report, some costing more than others.
Check for Safety Recalls
It doesn’t hurt to find out if there have been any safety recalls on the make and model you’re interested in. Most manufacturers will post this recall information on their websites. If you see that recall repairs are required for the make and model you’re interested in, ask the seller for proof that these repairs have been carried out.
Get a Mechanic’s Opinion
When you take the used car for a test drive, always look at the small details and don’t forget to take notes of any damage you see. Some factors to pay attention to could include uneven tyres, signs of flood damage, or any strange noises coming from the engine. Unless you’re a seasoned auto professional, you’ll still want to have the car looked at by a reliable mechanic before you agree to any sale.
Don’t Be Afraid of Negotiation
It’s a good idea to wait for your mechanic’s assessment before you start negotiation, because you may uncover problems that could lead to a lower price. Ask your mechanic for an assessment of what he or she thinks the car is worth, and compare this to the average prices on car listings sites. For example, if you think you’ve found a great deal on a Holden Commodore, you’d want to compare it with similar Holden listings ar Carsales or similar sites. Go into negotiation with a maximum price in mind, but try offering a lower price to begin with and work your way up to that.
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